The Ins and Outs of Business Law: Four Specialty Areas

Do you have a head for big deals? Do you like traveling to new, exciting places? Can you keep your cool when those around you are losing theirs? You might just have that rare combination of traits and talents it takes to make a suitable business law attorney.

The Job

If you ask four business lawyers what they do, you could get four different answers. The reason is that there are at least four major areas of practice attorneys may focus on. Sure, some of them do it all, but most concentrate on only one area to better serve their clients’ needs. These clients are generally companies, corporations, banks, or financial institutions. On any given day, they may ask their legal advisers to practice different types of law. Here are the four major ones.

1. Corporate Finance

Large companies and corporations are endlessly raising all forms of debt and equity capital in order to expand and grow their revenue. To do so, they often have to borrow from banks and other financial institutions. It is the job of the business law attorneys who work for them to secure the most attractive commercial loans when financing is needed to fund a new project. To do so, they must negotiate the most favorable terms for their clients before both parties are brought together to seal the deal.

The above is but a single example of what a legal adviser who focuses on corporate law may do. They may serve in countless other capacities where action or advice is needed in a business matter. But whatever the transaction may be, these sought-after attorneys make certain all documents and paperwork are in compliance with state and federal laws.

2. Real Estate

Most folks think buying a home is a major hassle. Well, how about buying a building or an entire city block? Business law attorneys help their clients acquire new property on almost any scale imaginable. They help them purchase, fund, lease, manage, and sell their real estate holdings. These properties may include anything from two-family homes to large retail to office and industrial developments.

In addition to helping with the purchase or sale of real estate, finance lawyers may also help their clients resolve complicated title or environmental issues that must be addressed before a transaction can be completed. They can even work on the other side of the aisle for the lender.

3. Private Equity Funds

When you handle other people’s money, countless rules are used to regulate your conduct. Private equity fund managers might know how to provide working capital for target companies, but they may not be aware of all the legal ramifications of their actions. It is for this reason that finance lawyers are needed whenever portfolio investments are made or new funds are formed. Whether the funds focus on mortgage lending, precious metals, or real estate, experts are needed to deal with the complex business, tax, and regulatory issues that are almost always involved in the formation and management of these funds.

4. Contracts

For a finance lawyer to correctly evaluate a contract and determine whether or not signing it is in the best interests of his client, he must be intimately aware of his client’s business needs. Why? Because as important as contract law may be, it is fairly elementary. In other words, any attorney worth his salt should be able to peruse a contract and determine if it is copacetic. But if you don’t know what your client’s goals are, how can you get him what he wants?

As exciting as the deal-making aspect of the job may be, most business law attorneys spend most of their time working out the fine points and minor details of contracts and other agreements. They must also devote an awful lot of time and energy to learning about the corporate world before they can competently apply their trade. That said, it is a challenging and rewarding career, both financially and intellectually.